By Ashlee Starratt
Voices raised in song; orchestral, stirring, harmonious. English verses blend with lilting Arabic through a medium whose language has the power to transcend all mother tongues – music. To listen to ‘One Nation’, or ‘Al Yaqeen’ in its Arabic edition, is to hear Qatar’s collective voice – and right now, it has a lot to say.
The brainchild of song-writer, composer, and founder of DNA Records, Dana Al Fardan, the song was originally conceived and written in both English and Arabic as an uplifting tribute to Qatar two weeks before the events of the region’s diplomatic fallout left its impact all the more timely.
Pictured above: The recording studio at Katara Studios
“The aim was to send a message of unity and strength within our country,” explains Dana. “To showcase our love for one another and our community-based values. It was important that we aim to combat negative regional media towards Qatar.”
An accomplished composer and artist, Dana was no stranger to creative collaboration with local and international musicians and artists – having launched her first album, ‘Paint’ in 2013, mastered at London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios, and featuring 12 string players from the London Metropolitan Orchestra. She is the official composer for Qatar Airways group, has had her latest album release, ‘Sandstorm’ performed live in concert with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at the Katara Opera House, and has lent her music expertise and passion for music education to countless charitable endeavours and initiatives.
Now, it was time to give back in tribute to Qatar.
The vocalists, choir, and musicians behind 'One Nation'
Dana chose ‘One Nation’ to be the song’s title in the wake of the GCC fallout. It’s a message of solidarity, unity and love dedicated to the country and to the Emir. This song is a very unique circumstance where Dana actually lends her own voice. It's a special cause for her because she feels that she needed to give back to the country she calls home. However, she knew that her voice alone would not be enough. “The song needed to grow organically, and it really needed to be a product of our musical and artistic community here,” she says. “I wanted to show how Qatar has invested in its human capital to expand its cultural and educational understanding, and to compete on a global level.”
While Dana wrote the song’s melody and lyrics in English, Fahad Al Mursel wrote the lyrics in Arabic. ‘One Nation’ also features popular Qatari vocalists Fahad Al-Kubaisi and Essa Al-Kubaisi.
The making of 'One Nation'
With the song and accompanying video recorded at Katara Studios, the outpouring of support from Qatar’s artistic community was overwhelming, as Qatar Concert Choir’s Giovanni Pasini, violinist and conductor came on-board for the musical arrangement, organizing the accompanying choir, while Christoph Schmitz took over the reigns of production. The end result? A song that Qatar can, indeed, stand by and stand together.
“This is truly a testament to the fact that music permeates language and boundaries,” states Dana. “Because everybody came together, and the end is truly a collaboration of the bulk of the artistic community in Qatar.”
The ‘One Nation’ project is in partnership with ILQ and TQG Production. ILQ is proud to offer an exclusive download of ‘One Nation’ for our readers below!
Want to know more about ‘One Nation’ and the work of Dana Alfardan? Visit her website here. Stay tuned for the official music video! The release date TBA soon!
What do you think of this musical tribute to our nation? Drop us a line in the comments below and tell us your thoughts. Also, don’t forget to give us a like and a share – it keeps us going!
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